+ Easy to dismantle/clean
+ Good visibility
+ Good aural clarity
+ Comes with bag
- Shortage of replacement lenses
- Thermal lens prone to splitting
- Very short chin strap
I got my Proto FSes earlier this year and have been speed- and rec-/woods-balling with them ever since. (I have my e-vents now but won't use them till next month.)
The comfort, in my opinion, is top-notch: for me it really doesn't get in the way of my playing. I feel secure enough wearing them out on the field - the fit is great on my head and doesn't feel like it's going to slip off anytime soon. The foam around the eye/nose area and in the earpieces are to my liking. However, the chin strap is something I really hate, as even on it's maximum length and with the comfort pad removed, I can't get it to fit me. You may want to disregard this however if you don't even use the strap, but it's just one of the little niggles that bugs me.
The coverage definitely can't match the comprehensive cover from a mask like the Pro Vantage, for example, but it is certainly more than the Empire e-Vents or the Profiler can provide. That is all probably up to personal preference, though - I have a squarish facial structure so masks like the Profiler leave quite a lot of skin exposed for me.
Where the FS really excels is how easy it is to remove the lens for cleaning or replacement. The system really does work to offer quick removal. You just have to be careful when cleaning the lens itself - getting water in the foam separating the two layers will result in them splitting apart, thus letting moisture and air get inbetween. One con of the lens, though, is that not cleaning them with proper materials - for instance, wiping off splatter dots with, say, a glove - will leave nasty smears on the front layer of the lens. Then again this might happen with any other mask, but maybe not as badly as it happens with the FS.
Visually though, the lens is an OK piece of work. Visibility and optical clarity are good enough for any level and type of paintballer. Unfortunately, when it comes time to replacing them, you may have to look around a bit harder than you should have to. I still can't seem to find a replacement dual-layer anywhere.
Ventilation on the FS is nothing to shout about. Hot breath will get all over the cheek and mouth area unless you exhale with your lips pursed downwards. It works fine for shouting out and listening to commands on the field however. This lack of proper ventilation probably leads to the fogging that occurs on most FSes. However this does not come into play unless you are playing for long durations, or in extreme weather conditions.
As a side note, the FS comes with a mask bag too.
Personally, I find it to be a comfortable mask. The rubber jaw and mouth protection supposedly helps with paint bounces, but I personally have not been hit in those areas so I can't attest to that.
Overall, I think it's a fine product for the money.
8 out of 10
Last edited on Thursday, February 1st, 2007 at 1:30 pm PST